Maximum tension as Barcelona negotiate Umtiti's exit from club

The defender's in no rush to leave or to take a salary cut

| sport

Barcelona are beginning to act with the players that have to leave the club this summer and will not accept a wage cut or an exit that favours both parties.

One of those players is Samuel Umtiti, who has no intention of leaving despite the club wanting to move him on. There's a meeting planned imminently to make it clear that he's not in the club's plans and that he must accept a salary reduction to have the chance to continue his career at another club.

Umtiti has not been the same since knee problems struck in 2018. Ronald Koeman tried to bring him back into the fold but his performances were not good enough. He has improved but he's still light-years from the player he was in his first two years at Barça following his €25 million move from Lyon.

Barça have already told him and his camp they need to find a new team. Like last summer, it seems the suggestion has fallen on deaf ears. Umtiti's argument is he has a contract until 2023, the renewal rushed through with Manchester United prepared to pay the €60m clause in his previous deal.

Due to the circumstances which have followed, injuries and pandemic, Barça have proposed a wage cut with the hope of moving him on. There is interest in France, but only on loan with a reasonable salary. Umtiti doesn't want to listen for now.

Barça's idea is to strike an agreement with Umtiti and his camp but it depends on them. The club are beginning to get fed up with the stance they're encountering and don't rule out drastic measures. They have studied legal measures and even the recision of his contract.

They need Umtiti to leave to remove his wage from their salary cap limit. The Frenchman, as things stand, would be the sixth choice central defender. Lyon and Marseille have asked about his situation. Last summer, Roma were keen, but they have not been back in touch.

If negotiations with Umtiti go well, Barça could sign another centre-back. They are convinced they need one more. It all depends on who leaves, though.

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